Monday, May 16, 2011

Project 49

The Hinsdale Central School Sr. class started the 2010-2011 school year questioning school spirit, participation, and what they felt was a negative reputation forming around many classes. They purposed that they would work to change as many of these things as they could, and wanted to leave behind something tangible that would encourage students who followed them to take Pride in who they were, and where they came from. The class brainstormed ideas and Project 49 was born.

Students decided they wanted to paint a mural of the school in Room #49. This is the room that is dedicated to Study Halls throughout the day and is frequently visited by all members of the student body. The desire was to keep it a secret and reveal the mural during an assembly that would focus on having pride about yourself and your school. At the completion of the painting the Sr. class inscribed their names in bricks that make up the school, laying the foundation for the classes that would come behind.

Day 1 -

Day 2 -

Day 3-

Day 4 -

As Project 49 gained momentum it turned into a project that extended beyond just the current Sr. class painting a mural. The assembly enabled the current seniors to take turns reflecting about their school career as they shared "Proud Moments" about academic, athletic and community involvement. These moments were opportunities or them to share about something that made them proud to be part of the Hinsdale family. After these Proud Moments Sr. class member Troy Hillman challenged the students to be proud of where they come from and put forth their best in whatever they do in life. He told then that in order to make a change they first need to be the change.

A band was brought in to perform at the assembly. It consisted of three members of the 2010 graduating class and a current senior. They performed "Chain of Pride", a song written by the Civics/Government class that tells the story of the challenges faced by an incoming student and how he was encouraged to always do his best and help those who come behind.

As I begin to walk these halls for the first time in my life, I feel scared and out of place it just didn't seem right.

Then a Senior took my arm and looked me in the eyes, He told me not to be afraid and gave me some advice.

Reach out to those around you and forget what others think, If you try to stand alone all you is sink

Let me share my father's words to me when I was in your shoes, "Others will always see your best when you take Pride in what you do"

I told him I was grateful for those words he spoke to me, When I said I felt I owed him, he just answered quielty

You don't owe me anything I've been there too, Someone once helped me out the way I'm helping you. You relly wanna pay me back? Here's what you can do, dont let the Chain of Pride end with you.

Everything soon became easy I guess I had nothing to fear, No matter where I stop to look Somone was always near,

I wathced so many leave this place they left their mark behind, As this happened year to year these thoughts came to mind,

You don't owe me anything I've been there too, Someone once helped me out the way I'm helping you. You relly wanna pay me back? Here's what you can do, dont let the Chain of Pride end with you.

As I walk across this stage dresseed in my cap and gown, Been thinking bout the past few years ready to leave this town,

Saying goodbye to all my friends Won'dring what to pass along, Bobcat Pride comes to my mind and the lyrics in this song.

As the band performed the song the following slide show of the painting project was played on the big screen revealing Project 49 to all those in attendance.

The assembly was also the time that the additional aspects of this project were shared. Room #49 not only has a mural, but would also be receiving additional updates on a yearly basis. A Chain of Pride will be painted with a new link being added every June. This will be a time when the outgoing Sr.'s and the incoming Sr.'s (current Jr.'s) will together add a link to chain and the new Sr. class will inscribe their names pledging to not the let the chain end with them.

What started with some simple questions and desire, turned into an event that created excitement and energy throughout the entire school. Project 49 will hopefully leave a legacy that will be remembered for years by those who come behind...


  1. Awesome! Tell your Students they are inspiring! Already thinking about things we could do here! Great job! Thanks for sharing!

  2. So proud of how you inspire those around you! Excellent job supporting your students in this project & helping them instill Bobcat Pride at HCS!

  3. Pappa G..... love what you do for all you encounter! Le mec dans 65

  4. The words to the song are really meaningful. I think that they should be part of the school's history. They definitely should be part of the graduation ceremony.

    You should all be really pround of Project 49, I am.

    Kim Winicki